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Accept to be audited

GREETINGS sports administrators.

And congratulations on holding your 2021 National Sports Council of Zambia (NSCZ) general meeting where you tackled a number of issues that may have been affecting the sports fraternity.

Tough luck that the minister might have missed some of your main agenda items.

And sports minister Elvis NKandu has been on record since his appointment that resources shall be shared equally. Equally, from my own understanding, means that no sports federation will ever get a bigger share than football. And the reason is quite simple, the yearly budget for the men’s senior national team is always in the government yellow book.

For me it’s not a surprise that you in the ‘minor’ sports disciplines don’t want to be audited, why? I am among many other sports journalists that write stories about you needing resources for a particular tournament, and once the money comes in you don’t want to be audited. You don’t want to be asked how you spent the resources.

Sports administrators, my letter does not come to harm you but you need to put your house in order. It’s a fact, even as it hurts me, that football still gets a huge chunk of money from the sports funding federations. You are not helping to get equal share or reasonable funding, how? You are not being sincere in your dealings. Just to put you to test, how much did you spend on Saturday’s AGM?

Good financial management is key to any successful sports programme. The way funds are managed, solutions to budget problems are issued, and understanding the most significant area within your specific programme is one of the most important parts of financial administration. The person responsible for sports financing, sometimes titled a financial director, should have accounting experience and have knowledge in strategic planning, accountability, risk management and more.

I understand that the NSCZ works under a small budget to employ qualified personnel as government allocates approximately K1.2 million for operations and K1.5 million as annual support to the 53 national federations per year.

To the NSCZ, all organisations (federations) have a budget. The money they are allotted is broken up differently according to region and location, so it is important to be aware of how the money should be spent. Some areas prefer a stronger emphasis on one sport over another, or the budget is simply not large enough to accommodate very many alternate sports options. This is where strict budgeting can come in handy. When you’re making your budget, remember to assess what areas require the most money, and to cut out any unnecessary expenditures. This frees up money for other athletics programmes and keeps your organisation from overspending where it isn’t needed. Let’s help each other to grow sport.

The fact that football allocation is in the yellow book every year should not be a weapon for sports federations that want to get something from the new dawn government.

Be like FAZ which always makes things simple. FAZ programmes are known year in and year out. Some of you, sports federations, your programmes come like a thief and that needs to be changed.

We are ending the year; this is the right time to clinch deals with the corporate world. As they start making their next year’s budgets, visit them and present your next year’s programmes so that they can add you on their social responsibility programme for next year.

Otherwise, the issue of sports funding is far from over, a lot needs to be done.

I am happy to know that sports minister NKandu said the ministry would lobby for more funding for sport. This shows how government knows that sport is set to play an important role in helping promote social and economic development in Zambia.

With 82 per cent of the country’s population below the age of 35, sport is a practical way to target young people to promote physical and mental health, as well as build social cohesion within the country. Government should have recognised the importance of sport in contributing to national development.

Looking forward to interacting and sharing more ideas with you.

Send comment to: bright.t.tembo14@gmail.com, WhatsApp +260 976 163505

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